Even the novel coronavirus could not deter a Congress legislator in Madhya Pradesh from casting his vote for the Rajya Sabha elections.
37-year-old Kunal Chaudhary is Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress president and first-time MLA from Kalapipal constituency who arrived in an ambulance, wearing a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kit.
He was one of the last leaders to turn up to vote at the state assembly in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh: A Congress MLA who had tested positive for #COVID19, arrives at the state legislative assembly in Bhopal to cast his vote. Voting is currently underway for three Rajya Sabha seats of the state. #RajyaSabhaElection pic.twitter.com/P8wltUu8fT— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2020
According to reports, Chaudhary said that he felt unwell on June 6 and got tested for coronavirus four days later. The report was released on June 12, diagnosed him of suffering from COVID-19.
I reached Vidhan Sabha around 12.45 pm in an ambulance, with full precaution wearing a PPE kit, the officials were also wearing PPE kit, though I felt they were a bit scared, which is natural. I voted for my party candidate and came back," said the MLA, reported NDTV.
@INCMP @KunalChoudhary_ ने पीपीई किट पहनकर #RajyaSabhaElection में किया मतदान @bjp4mp नेता @drhiteshbajpai ने कहा @ECISVEEP द्वारा #कोरोना +ve विधायक को परिसर में प्रवेश की अनुमति महामारी नियंत्रण नियमों का उल्लंघन @ndtvindia @ndtv pic.twitter.com/wwAr9cLagu— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) June 19, 2020
The Times of India reported that despite being tested coronavirus positive, the legislator was allowed to vote by the returning officer, provided all precautions were strictly followed.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, 24 seats are currently vacant. All 206 MLAs of the Congress, BJP and others voted for Rajya Sabha polls.
Reportedly, Chaudhary reached after at least 205 MLAs had already cast their votes. Mr Chaudhary, wore the protective jumpsuit, carrying a mobile phone in his hand, walked into a room to cast his vote.
BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai slamming the move asked how the Election Commission allowed a minister infected with coronavirus to visit the state assembly and vote.
"The permission of the Corona positive MLA to enter the premises by the Election Commission is a violation of epidemic control rules," Bajpai tweeted.
चुनाव आयोग द्वारा कोरोना +ve विधायक को परिसर में प्रवेश की अनुमति महामारी नियंत्रण नियमों का उल्लंघन है और परिसर को कंटेमिनेट करने का आयोग को कोई अधिकार नहीं है। यह आयोग द्वारा की जा रही अवैध गतिविधि है जो चिंताजनक है जबकि बीमारी फैलाना अपराध की श्रेणी में आता है। @ECISVEEP— Dr.Hitesh Bajpai (@drhiteshbajpai) June 19, 2020